Todd Gilliland Steals The Win In Inaugural CARS Tour LMSC Race
Lucama, NC – Last but not least, we saved the best for last, holy crap… just a few sayings that came to mind when the checkered flag flew in the breeze Saturday night at Southern National Motorsports Park for the inaugural CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car race. The second 150-lap feature on the evening saw a very impressive thirty-car field, six cars were sent packing after qualifying and the last chance race, take the green flag to kick the season off!
Teams from all over the eastern seaboard spent weeks building and testing their machines to prepare for this weekend and the caliber of competition that rolled through the small town of Kenly, North Carolina were insurmountable.
Gilliland’s victory was his first in a Late Model Stock Car and comes after an incredible second place finish last year at SNMP during the Autumn Classic while driving a Limited Late Model. Though Gilliland was fastest in final practice earlier that afternoon, his victory did not come easy, nor did it lack excitement. Though Gilliland found himself at the top of the leader board during the final practice – that was extended might I add, I am guessing due to the rain before – but that however did not transfer over to qualifying. That honor would go to none other than the #08 of Deac McCaskill.
When the green flag waved over the field of thirty cars McCaskill hauled off into turn one and cleared Brayton Haws off of turn two. McCaskill, who ran just outside the top ten during practice, looked like he was shot out of a rocket and was a man on a mission. Lap traffic came and went as did the yellow flags but McCaskill was not going to be denied, or so he thought!
Gilliland had been within the top five from the drop of the green flag. It was the help of some post lap 100 yellow flags that helped Gilliland set up the pass for the lead. The field got the green with just five laps to go, McCaskill was able to clear Tommy Lemmons Jr and leave him to Gilliland who made pretty easy work of the pass. Coming to two to go Gilliland sailed his #98 machine down into turn three and down into the bumper of McCaskill. Good ‘ole classic short track bump and run! Gilliland was able to gain the advantage at the line but McCaskill was not ready to give up!
McCaskill gathered the car up to mount one final charge to get back to where he spent all night, top of the leader board. White flag was in the air, the two separated by no more than two car links. The duo entered turn three, it was now the veterans turn to put the bumper to the leader. Well, that was the plan, McCaskill sailed her on down into turn three after Gilliland but it just wasn’t enough to get to the bumper. Gilliland only lead two laps but it was the two that counted the most.
“This is crazy,” Gilliland said in victory lane. “Everyone’s worked so hard over the winter on this new car. They got this thing so good. I’m so happy, so proud of everyone. I didn’t think I could win this race with the experience that was out there. It’s crazy.”
Myatt Snider was able to keep his nose clean and up to the front of the pack all evening and bring home a third place finish. 2014 LMSC champion Tommy Lemmons was a major factor late in the race but would have to settle with a fourth place finish. Tyler Ankrum would round out the top five after racing and winning his way in through the last chance qualifier. Have to give an honorable mention to Brayton Haws who had to come down pit road early in the race with an issue with the motor. The team had to pull the valve cover off the motor and make a repair, which allowed him to rejoin the field. He was able to work his way back up into the top five before having to settle for a sixth place finish, for that he earns The Weekly Racer’s Tough Break of the Race Award!
CARS Tour X-1R Performance Products 300
Late Model UNOFFICIAL Results
- #98 Todd Gilliland; 150
- #08 Deac McCaskill; 150
- #2 Myatt Snider; 150
- #27 Tommy Lemmons, Jr.; 150
- #58 Tyler Ankrum; 150
- #41 Brayton Haws; 150
- #16 R.D. Smith; 150
- #60 Stacey Compton; 150
- #77 Blake Stallings; 150
- #54 Blake Stallings; 150
- #1 Trent Barnes; 150
- #34 Matt Waltz; 150
- #31 Thomas Beane; 150
- #99 Mike Darne; 150
- #18 Bradley McCaskill; 150
- #28 Chris Hudspeth; 150
- #07 Clint King; 149
- #82 Christian Eckes; 149
- #50 Jamey Caudil; 145
- #7 Justin Cider; 145
- #16 Jeff Oakley; 145
- #12 Austin McDaniel; 144
- #1 Tyler Dipple; 143
- #12 Garrett Cambell; 143
- #12 Ryan Wilson; 119
- #88 Robert Tyler; 91
- #44 Justin Johnson; 63
- #23 Payton Ryan; 59
- #17 Stacy Puryear; 44
- #88 Doug Barnes, Jr.; 19
Fastest Qualifier: Deac McCaskill, Time: 15.408, Speed: 93.458 mph
Failed to Qualify: (6) Stefan Parsons (#98), Roddey Sterling (#59), Craig Stallard (#42), Donnie Puryear Jr. (#23), Brian Barnhill (#5b), Wesley Hawkins (#20)
Cautions: (8) Lap: 19, 65, 96, 108, 119, 144, 144, 145
Lap Leaders: Deac McCaskill 1 – 148, Todd Gilliland 148 – 150
Move of the Race: Todd Gilliland
Biggest Mover: Tyler Ankrum
Tough Break Award: Brayton Haws